Peter Dorset, Australia’s new foreign secretary and the first female foreign secretary in the nation’s history, has resigned, citing climate change as the main reason.
In a statement released on Monday, Dorset said she was leaving because of the changing climate and the fact that the environment has become more complex, and that her time in office would be best spent focusing on the environment and the economy.
Dorset, a former Liberal senator, was the first woman foreign secretary at a time when the Australian Labor Party had not nominated a woman as leader.
She was also one of the first women to hold the post of chief executive of a major international financial institution.
Dutton’s predecessor, Ian Macdonald, resigned over the government’s decision to allow a large coalmine owned by one of his companies to go ahead, despite protests from the environment group, the Alliance for Clean Coal.
Macdonald said he felt it was wrong to allow the mine to go forward despite the fact the company was in breach of environmental laws.
He said he resigned in the wake of a decision by the environment minister to allow mining to continue at the site, despite a warning from the Department of Resources and Energy that the mine would breach the environmental laws and endanger the environment.
MacDonald, who took office in January, was criticised by many environmental groups for failing to act to stop the coalmine.
He is currently on a one-week visit to China and Russia.